Misconduct & Serious Misconduct

Misconduct is employee action, inaction or behaviour that an employer finds unacceptable. Whether it’s serious or not, it’s important that misconduct is fairly investigated and dealt with promptly.

Bossed | Dealing with misconduct

Tackling employee misconduct can be daunting for employers – you need to get it right.  Luckily the friendly team at bossed are here to support you.  We can help you figure out what to do so you can take swift and appropriate action.


How to identify employee misconduct

There are two levels of employee misconduct: misconduct and serious misconduct.

Serious misconduct is behaviour that destroys or undermines the relationship of trust and confidence between an employee and their employer usually resulting in the employee being dismissed.  Examples of serious misconduct could include, but are not limited to, violent behaviour, bullying and harassment, theft or dishonesty. 

In cases of lesser misconduct, the employment relationship is not necessarily irreparable, so the behaviour may instead result in a warning.  Examples of lesser misconduct could include, but are not limited to, inappropriate clothing, offensive language, or repeated lateness.

Misconduct outside of work

Disciplinary action or dismissal may be appropriate even if the misconduct occurred outside of the workplace.  As an employer, the concerns to address are whether the employee’s conduct has damaged the relationship of trust and confidence between you, or whether their conduct has brought your organisation into disrepute, or whether the conduct is not appropriate for the employee to be performing their job properly.  Examples of misconduct outside of work could include, but are not limited to, inappropriate posts on social media, being convicted of a crime, or sexually harassing a colleague outside of work.


What can employers do about misconduct?

It’s important that employers investigate misconduct in a fair and reasonable way before taking action against an employee.  The employee should be allowed the opportunity to respond to the claims of misconduct.  An employee may be dismissed if, after a fair investigation and disciplinary process, they are found guilty of serious misconduct. This is conduct that significantly damages or destroys the relationship of trust and confidence.  Alternatively, if the misconduct is less serious, a warning may be appropriate.  If it is repeated, it may lead to dismissal.


How can bossed help me?

The team at bossed are experienced HR professionals who can provide you with the advice and support you need to confidently deal with employee misconduct at any level.  Our friendly experts can provide as much or as little help as you need - whether you want advice over the phone, help to plan and carry out an investigation, or someone to draft letters and professionally represent your organisation in meetings.  Whatever our input, you can trust that your business is in safe hands with bossed.


Contact our friendly team today for a FREE and confidential consultation. Fill out our form below or call us on 0800 bossed

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9am - 7pm, Monday to Friday

PO BOX 47440, Ponsonby,

Auckland 1144

By appointment only


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